Kin Vineyards celebrated its grand opening this July in Carp. While Ottawa and surrounding area might not seem like the ideal place to grow grapes because of the long cold winters, there are some grape plants that can tolerate the climate. Is it possible that in time the Ottawa Valley might become the next Niagara or Prince Edward County wine destination in Ontario?
The 100 acre vineyard owned by Christopher Van Barr carefully grows Dijon clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay along with Muscat Ottonel, Vidal Blanc, Marechal Foch, Marquette and Frontenac all of which need to be gently buried under the earth each fall to protect them from the cold.
Despite the vineyard just opening, it is possible you have tried KIN Vineyards wine before as it is offered at many of the best restaurants in Ottawa including E18ghteen, MeNa, Cafe My House, Clover, and Atelier.
At the vineyard, there is a new wine tasting room where you can order either a 1 oz tasting for $2, a tasting flight of 3 wines of your choice for $5, or a glass of wine from $7-10. The interior is sleek with raw edge tables, large artworks by local artists, but for me, the true highlight was sipping my glass of wine on the gorgeous outdoor patio where you can view the vineyard and enjoy the sun.
The 3 flagship wines would be the KIN Pinot Noir Rose (dry, youthful with a nose of strawberry and lemon), KIN Chardonnay (dry, nose of fresh apple and pear), and the KIN Pinot Noir (dry earthy wine with a nose of cherry). Depending when you visit a variety of other wines will be available too, such as the Civil Grit Chardonnay (dry youthful wine with fruit forward of apples and pears), Understory Vidal Blanc (off-dry, with delicate aroma of plum, apple, and flowers), the outstanding Understory Marechal Foch (dry wine with a nose of cherry blackberries and smoke).
For those of you who also love ciders, KIN Vineyards will be selling Cider House Fools Dry Cider starting this fall which is made with the apples from Harvest Moon Orchard just down the road from KIN Vineyards.
The newly opened vineyard is delightfully modern and close to Ottawa making it perfect for weekend road trips. I think this vineyard would be well suited for gathering together several friends to try a wine tasting.
KIN Vineyards is an absolute gem in Carp, and I highly recommend visiting as a fun weekend activity where you can help support a local business and their outstanding wine.